Slide EDUCATION INDICATORS
FOR MAINE
2020

WELCOME

 

Educate Maine is pleased to launch the Education Indicators for Maine report for the web. We’ve come a long way since our first annual Education Indicators for Maine report in 2013. Maine has progressed substantially in many areas, such as increasing access to full-day kindergarten and increasing the number of adults with degrees or credentials of value. We’ve made moderate progress in student achievement and college enrollment, though there is still work to be done to ensure that every Maine person reaches their highest educational potential. We have come together through the MaineSpark Coalition to make sure 60% of Maine adults have a degree or credential of value by 2025. Our progress on these indicators is essential to helping Maine reach its state attainment goal.

This new report format will allow us to provide more timely updates to the following education indicators while also expanding what we measure as important for educational access, participation, and attainment across Maine. All students, regardless of their background, deserve an equitable, high-quality education. We must examine a range of inputs and outcomes at all stages of the educational pipeline to understand where we need to act to achieve this goal.

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has significantly upended the educational system across Maine and the nation. As there are countless challenges in this new educational environment, there will also be challenges in tracking educational outcomes over the next few years. Educate Maine remains committed to sharing timely, accurate, and relevant information that is accessible and actionable for policymakers, school leaders, students, parents, and community members. We look forward to working with our partners across the state of Maine in 2021 to understand and highlight the significant work that teachers and schools are doing to make sure that we stay on track to meet our goals.

Sincerely,

Jason Judd, Ed.D
Executive Director
Educate Maine

INDICATOR SUMMARY

These ten indicators follow the path of Maine children as they grow and learn. We look at participation in early childhood educational programs because those experiences lay the foundation on which all future education is based. We examine performance in the K-12 public education system because demonstrating proficiency at one level is important in order to be ready to achieve at the next level. Finally, we study postsecondary outcomes because, ultimately, it is educational attainment–in all its forms–that we seek to measure and celebrate.

Click on the bars below to see the data for each indicator. We published the first Education Indicators Report for Maine report in 2013 with goals for 2019. The data below are for 2019. We use data from the Maine Department of Education’s Data Warehouse for student assessment results in 4th, 8th, and 11th grades. Because we elected to transition from using national assessments to using the statewide assessments to measure K-12 educational achievement before the goal year, we share data from the last three years on student performance rather than a comparison to 2013. We use National Student Clearinghouse Data reported to the Maine Department of Education for most postsecondary indicators. Additional data sources and definitions can be found on the Resources page of this site.

Maine has made large strides in making public pre-K available to 4-year-olds over the past several years. Policymakers at the state and local levels can further expand access for Maine children by addressing high financial costs for opening or expanding existing programs, securing adequate facilities, and supporting schools in recruiting and retaining pre-K teachers and staff.

Percent of Maine school districts offering public pre-K, 2013 & 2019

49%

WHERE WE STARTED (2013)

 
77%

WHERE WE STAND (2019)

 
100%

GOAL (2019)

 

High-quality pre-K greatly influences children’s academic and social-emotional development and improves readiness for kindergarten, setting the stage for later success in school. While Maine has made significant progress expanding pre-K participation, only 9% of Maine’s 4-year-olds are enrolled in full-day, five-days-per-week programs.

Percent of 4-year-olds enrolled in public pre-K in Maine, 2013 & 2019

32%

WHERE WE STARTED (2013)

 
50%

WHERE WE STAND (2019)

 
64%

GOAL (2019)

 

Almost all Maine school districts offered full-day kindergarten in 2019, compared to 87% in 2013. Kindergarten is vitally important for preparing children for grade school in terms of their academic and social development. All kindergarten programs in Maine are 5 days per week.

Percent of Maine school districts offering full-day kindergarten, 2013 & 2019

87%

WHERE WE STARTED (2013)

 
98%

WHERE WE STAND (2019)

 
100%

GOAL (2019)

 

Reading proficiency by 4th grade is crucial as students transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Proficiency rates in reading for Maine 4th graders have increased slightly over the past three years on the Maine Educational Assessment. Maine 4th graders perform at the same level as the national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Percent of 4th grade students in Maine at or above state expectations in reading, 2017-2019

52%

2017

 
52%

2018

 
56%

2019

 

In 4th grade math, students focus on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Quantitative reasoning at this level sets the stage for more complex math applications in middle school. Proficiency rates in math on the Maine Educational Assessment have hovered around 40% for the past several years, with a slight jump to 44% in 2017. Maine students rank 21st compared to other states, DC, and Puerto Rico.

Percent of 4th grade students in Maine at or above state expectations in math, 2017-2019

44%

2017

 
40%

2018

 
41%

2019

 

Strong reading skills in 8th grade set the stage for success in high school coursework and beyond. Eighth graders are assessed on their vocabulary, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills. Proficiency rates have increased over the past several years. Maine 8th graders perform slightly better than the national average in reading.

Percent of 8th grade students in Maine achieving proficiency in reading, 2017-2019

52%

2017

 
53%

2018

 
58%

2019

 

Proficiency in 8th grade math is foundational for success in mathematics coursework in high school and beyond. Proficiency rates in 8th grade math have held steady around 35% for the past several years, with a high of 39% in 2018. Maine 8th graders perform at about the national average in math.

Percent of 8th grade students in Maine achieving proficiency in math, 2017-2019

35%

2017

 
39%

2018

 
36%

2019

 

High school students are expected to be able to read long passages, identify evidence, interpret arguments, and draw conclusions from various texts. Strong reading comprehension is a vital skill for success in postsecondary education. Proficiency here is measured by 11th grade students’ performance on the SAT, which has steadily declined over the past several years.

Percent of Maine high school students proficient in reading, 2017-2019

59%

2017

 
57%

2018

 
56%

2019

 

High school students are expected to be able to perform algebraic calculations, analyze data, and interpret results. Students performing below proficient in math are more likely to need remediation in postsecondary education. Achievement is measured by 11th grade students’ performance on the SAT. Proficiency has held steady around 35% for the past several years, dropping slightly to 33% in 2019.

Percent of Maine high school students proficient in math, 2017-2019

35%

2017

 
35%

2018

 
33%

2019

 

Maine’s on-time graduation rate has inched up over the years, to 87% in 2019. This is on par with the overall graduation rate for the New England states, and a few points ahead of the national graduation rate (85%).

Percent of Maine students graduating from high school on time (within 4 years), 2013 & 2019

85%

WHERE WE STARTED (2013)

 
87%

WHERE WE STAND (2019)

 
90%

GOAL (2019)

 

Progress in terms of Maine students enrolling in postsecondary education has stalled since 2013. A contributing factor that lawmakers can address is the relatively high cost of higher education, which has grown considerably over time compared to average wages. Schools and communities across Maine can continue to raise students’ education and career aspirations through providing effective mentorship, programming, and comprehensive supports.

Percent of Maine students enrolling in college within one year of graduating high school, 2013 & 2019

62%

WHERE WE STARTED (2013)

 
61%

WHERE WE STAND (2019)

 
66%

GOAL (2019)

 

College persistence rates in Maine have fluctuated over time. There has been an increase in public dialogue in Maine and the nation about the types of wraparound supports needed to help students – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – persist in higher education. Wraparound supports may include additional financial aid, targeted programming, counseling, transportation, and childcare.

Percent of Maine students returning for a second year of college (persistence), 2013 & 2019

85%

WHERE WE STARTED (2013)

 
82%

WHERE WE STAND (2019)

 
88%

GOAL (2019)

 

Students who complete college are in a better position to secure high-paying careers and pay off debt than those who do not finish. Maine’s college completion rate has grown steadily over time and we have narrowed the gap with New England since 2013.

Percent of students completing a college degree within 6 years in Maine and New England, 2013 & 2019 (Goal: Close the gap with New England)

50% 2013 MAINE

50%

2013 MAINE

58% 2013 NEW ENGLAND

58%

2013 NEW ENGLAND

62% 2019 MAINE

62%

2019 MAINE

65% 2019 NEW ENGLAND

65%

2019 NEW ENGLAND

College costs have risen at much faster rate than average wage increases over the past several decades. This indicator measures the relative burden of paying for college in Maine compared to New England. The average net price of college in 2018 was $16,677 in Maine and $21,829 in New England, however, the average household income in Maine is lower than in New England. The overall cost burden of college in Maine has decreased relative to 2013, though cost remains a barrier for Maine families. Maine has yet to close the college cost burden gap with New England.

Average college cost as a percent of income in Maine and New England, 2013 & 2018  (Goal: Close the gap with New England)

40% 2013 MAINE

40%

2013 MAINE

38% 2013 NEW ENGLAND

38%

2013 NEW ENGLAND

36% 2019 MAINE

36%

2018 MAINE

34% 2019 NEW ENGLAND

34%

2018 NEW ENGLAND

This indicator measures the cost burden of college debt compared to income. There are two primary ways to reduce this percentage: reduce college debt or increase post-college wages. In 2018, the average annual student loan was $7,111 in Maine and $7,549 in New England. Maine and New England have seen a decline in average debt as a percent of income, though Maine has yet to close the gap with New England.

Average college debt as a percent of income in Maine and New England, 2013 & 2018 (Goal: Close the gap with New England)

17% 2013 MAINE

17%

2013 MAINE

14% 2013 NEW ENGLAND

14%

2013 NEW ENGLAND

15% 2019 MAINE

15%

2018 MAINE

12% 2019 NEW ENGLAND

12%

2018 NEW ENGLAND

Mainers with degrees or credentials of value have better job prospects and higher wage-earning potential than their counterparts without such degrees or credentials. The state-supported attainment goal is for 60% of Mainers to have degrees or credentials of value by 2025. Maine has made significant progress in this area since 2013. A recent increase in this figure is due in part to the incorporation of certifications of value in this measure.

Percent of Mainers holding a degree or credential of value, 2013 & 2019

37%

WHERE WE STARTED (2013)

 
51%

WHERE WE STAND (2019)

 
44%

GOAL (2019)

 

MAINE’S PUBLIC EDUCATION PIPELINE

Our goal at Educate Maine is to prepare all students for college and career. Reaching this goal is essential if we are to build a strong workforce and maintain our vibrant communities. Work towards our goal starts early. Students enter the education pipeline when they enroll in high-quality, early childhood education programs and advance, achieving proficiency in 1st – 12th grades. They graduate high school prepared for college and career and move on to postsecondary education or training. With a degree or certificate in hand, Mainers exit the pipeline ready to be a productive contributor to the economy.

The pipeline below represents the journey of a hypothetical Maine class that advances through the system using current participation, achievement, and transition rates found in this publication. Unfortunately, there are leaks in the pipeline. Not all children enter the public education system on the same footing and not all children achieve proficiency at the same rate. These “leakage points” represent areas to focus our efforts and to build a workforce to meet the needs of our economy.

WHO ARE THEY

(A) These are young people without a high school degree. They may be employed or may return to finish but their prospects for success and longterm employment opportunities are limited.

(B) These young adults graduated high school but did not go onto college immediately. They may be working or they may be in the military. Some may earn a postsecondary credential later. A large share is considered “disengaged”: not working and not in school.

(C) They started college immediately following high school graduation but did not make it to their third semester. They may return but this interruption makes it less likely. Many are employed and will have debt without the buying power of a degree.

(D) They started college immediately following high school graduation and continued into their second year. They dropped out sometime later. Many are working and some may return to complete college but that becomes less likely. Many will have debt without the buying power of a degree. Approximately 120,000 Maine workers have some college but no credential.